Abby Nissenbaum Releases New EP ‘Unreliable Narrator’, Shares New Single ‘Shelly Johnson’

Photo Credit: Kara Nikol 

Nashville-based LGBTQ+ indie-rock artist Abby Nissenbaum announces her hotly anticipated debut EP Unreliable Narrator.



Recorded between Los Angeles and Nashville (at the famed Sound Emporium Studios), with production credits split between Riley Geare (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Caroline Rose) and Matt Qualls (Blvck Hippie, Speck Joliet), the EP showcases Abby’s wide reaching variety of genres encompassing elements of alternative-pop, folk and even subtle electronics within her infectious indie-rock sound. Three singles from the album were released in 2022, including the critically acclaimed, macabre, slow rocker ‘Funeral Processional’, featuring trombone from YouTube’s most-subscribed brass artist and Stranger Things music director, Christopher Bill. 

Exploring themes of depression, isolation, heartbreak, addictions, and unreliable self-narratives, Unreliable Narrator is packed with atmospheric, personal and emotive songwriting as well as moments of explosive and energetic musical expressions. 

The EP’s lead single and standout ‘Shelly Johnson’ is a prime example of this. Leaning towards Abby’s more energetic side, the track builds a driving soundscape of crunching guitars over driving bass and drums. Abby’s silky, effortlessly honest and raw vocal delivery gives a central pin, delivering relatable, honest and heartfelt lyricism amidst catchy melodies, beautifully contrasting the energetic indie-rock soundscape which surrounds her.  

Speaking about the EP Nissenbaum shares: “Unreliable Narrator is an exploration of how external situations and inner states or feelings interact to form our internal narratives. I began writing this album in 2019 while leaving my Social Psychology PhD program, and started reflecting on the ways that external negative situations and others’ hurtful messages had been heavily souring my own self-talk and self-perception. I had read a research paper where depression and anxiety were characterized as ‘unreliable narration’ of one’s own life, and thought it perfectly encapsulated what I was feeling at the time. 

Especially as an LGBTQ+ artist, I wanted the album to touch on different aspects of my life where I had ruminated on and internalized mistreatment, from homophobia to toxic romantic relationships. Instrumentally and genre-wise, the EP purposely sounds somewhat disjointed, with the one common denominator being my voice. I hope that listeners, especially other queer folks, can find solace in these songs and the fact that not every bad thing we believe about ourselves is the truth.”

A lifelong musician, classically-trained soprano, and musical theatre performer, Nissenbaum pursued a career in social psychology and data analytics before rediscovering her music roots during her time as graduate student at the University of Memphis. Her music has been featured across international outlets including Earmilk, Notion, Psychedelic Baby Mag, and She Makes Music UK among others. Nissenbaum’s emotive, bright vocal performances pay homage to 60s female rock singers and blend with contemporary indie-alt rock elements to create a compelling and unique sound worthy of the acclaim she is receiving.

The new EP Unreliable Narrator and the new single ‘Shelly Johnson’ are both due for release February 24th

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